[40K] A Stream of Consciousness

Which Traitor Legion…

  • is associated with the various flavours of “Now With Additional Daemon” units that I tend to gravitate to when I consider Chaos?
  • did I collect and play during the “golden period” c. 2002-2007 when I was “slamming hams” twice a week and had my first disposable income?
  • has a colour scheme which conveniently matches the “classic colourscheme” Battlefleet Gothic ships I own?
  • shares that colourscheme (almost) with a warband from another Traitor Legion I’m vaguely curious about and have been for some time?
  • has been on my mind ever since I stole Militant’s idea of naming ships after album tracks by outstanding metal bands and realised Ghost aren’t a great fit for the Night Lords?
  • is thematically an appropriate opposite number to my despicably criminal spiky sons, united where they are fragmented, devout where they are faithless and so on?
  • appeared in two of the iconic 40K games of my adolescence as well as a still-very-quotable early Black Library outing for Matt Farrer?
  • am I now extremely tempted to start?

If you answered “Word Bearers”, take a bow and have a point.

The short story by Matt Farrer is ‘Snares and Delusions‘. I first read that in Dark Imperium, which I bought the second time I went to Games Day. Overwhelmed by the crowd, I retreated to the gallery, and spent most of the afternoon reading. I’m lousy at conventions. Anyway, it must have been well over a decade since I last read the story, and yet De Haan’s final quotation from the Book of Lorgar still rings in my ears:

Pride and defiant hate, spite and harsh oblivion. Let the great jewelled knot of the cosmos unravel in the dust.

The games, of course, are Dark Crusade, about which much has been said elsewhere, and Chaos Gate, which I gather is having something of a resurgence in new and AA-graphic form. I played the original 40K X-Com knockoff, thank you very much, and still get the chants stuck in my head sometimes. The play less so, but it certainly had me at the time, and I remember dicking around with the level editor a bit. Sometimes I wonder if the conflict between Word Bearers and Ultramarines in the new “lore” is entirely down to that game, and if the Word Bearers were selected purely because their use of Chaplains and red colourscheme led to an easy, direct opposition with the Ultramarines.

(If I recall correctly, they’re also in Fire Warrior, which I mention purely because I know Militant loves it and will take any excuse to go off.)

And the old army is one of those which I didn’t photograph much at the time. (I’m sure I had a picture of the Dark Apostle somewhere, but – kids, never go mad with self loathing and delete ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS ON EVERYTHING!) Which is a pity, because bits of it – including the Forge World Dreadnought, which I won in a creative writing competition on Imperial dash Literature dot Net, the website which taught me to write and encouraged me into my choice of degree – were halfway decent. The Obliterator kitbashes weren’t bad (loyalist Terminators with all the spare weapons from every other squad in the army and most of a packet of Green Stuff). I used a lot of Black Templar bits to get weapons chained to hands and scrolls on everything. I remember repainting it all halfway through to get some more depth on everything.

It was also rather fun to play, and I played it a lot during the Eye of Terror campaign and afterwards. I almost won the Plymouth shop league, only being thrashed out in the final by a Salamanders player who didn’t blink and absolutely deserved it. I think the army had a couple of Apocalypse appearances in Manchester, the summer after I’d finished but before I graduated. Then… then the Gavdex came, and I lost interest very rapidly, and got sick, and flogged the lot to pay rent on a flat I’d move out of a few months later. 2008 was a dogshit year.


While I am still very fond of my Night Lords, to the point where I’ve just bought a box each of Bikers and Terminators to round them out, and am contemplating a Land Raider for them, I am aware of a division in my Chaos collection. A split. Many of the VIII are in fact the older range of models, the third to fifth edition figures of my yoot’, and they look a bit… different… from the Dark Vengeance set with which all this nonsense started out. Similar, of course, a Chaos Space Marine is a Chaos Space Marine, but there’s a clear line between 2007 and 2012.

I’ve been sizzling with Chaos thoughts for a few days now, and chief among those thoughts is “what if I just… owned more Chaos?” Specifically, if I had my 1500 or so points of Night Lords, my third-to-fifth edition army, and then… repurposed or duplicated my Dark Vengeance set and went forward into the newer range under a different banner?

I was thinking about Thousand Sons – even went so far as to pitch a list and ask for guidance on the modern game from Reddit! There is such a thing as too many figures painted in cold dark colourschemes based on blues and greys, though. But the Host of Amon are a thing – red and bronze. I fancy using up some of my nice rich Formula P3 colours – maroons and purples and metallics in that set. And also I admit to being a bit excited about Knights. I’m not sure why, it’s not as if I have a group for contemporary 40K or anything, but they look great, and –

– look, 40K and I are entering into a kind of “collector” phase now. It was always my off-game, even though I’ve played it for longer chronologically. And as I approach a sort of hobby twilight, not able to speed paint like I used to, there’s something almost liberating about just… acquiring a bunch of Chaos, and not stressing too hard about it. What if I just let myself have stuff? As a treat?

I don’t know where all this is going. I’ll play some Dark Crusade and see if it works its way out of my system. I’ve started the Possessed for my Night Lords army, and I shall put the Terminators together when they’re done, and leave the (newer) Raptors who are primed black and so throw off the painting methodology –

– oh, sorry, that’s another thing. Part of my frustration with the Night Lords is my Sorcerer. He’s come out very Dark and Boring. No matter what I try and achieve with him, that black primer just eats light and flattens colour, and he’ll need stripping before he’s any use to me again. It’ll give me a chance to scrub down the bright orange bodies on my last five infantry models as well.

Anyway. I just wanted to share a glimpse into what’s happening at the moment. There’s a lot of hobby thought happening, and at times this blog is for thinking aloud, putting the brain sizzles out there so my head clears and I can progress.

2 thoughts on “[40K] A Stream of Consciousness

  1. Fire Warrior, yeah, that was Word Bearers. There’s a bit of me wants to replay that one, but I fear the old graphics and the quite clunky (even for the time) gameplay, might sour that memory.

    I only have a toe in 40k these days, haven’t played for years, but, the new cultist announcement has my attention. Question is, which affiliation? Alphas? Word Bearers? I’ve never done either in the past. Lean into my old, painted, Iron Warrior army and make them a cult suitable for them? Or, something else?


    1. If you still have your old army, expand on that. I’m having to start over, hence the hobby wobble this week.

      (Everything is now under control, and we are firmly back on the VIII train. Mostly because these Possessed are looking shweeeet…)


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